Abstract

Ex situ lift out (EXLO) is performed outside of the FIB instrument on a system basically consisting of a light optical microscope, stage, and manipulator. EXLO may be used to lift out very large specimens prepared using plasma FIB instruments. This paper combines a vacuum micropipetting module with an EXLO station, making use of both suction vacuum forces and adhesion forces for the pick and place of a FIB milled free specimen onto a slotted EXpressLO grid. The geometry for manipulation to EXpressLO grids is detailed in this paper. It is observed that the vacuum assisted lift out optimizes specimen positioning for easy placement on the novel EXpressLO grid. Once on the new grid, an electron transparent specimen may be analyzed directly by S/TEM or other analytical techniques. The specimen on this grid can also be further FIB milled or processed prior to analysis.

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